Some people you’d do anything for: The sweet older lady next door calls for a favor and you go running. Your nephew bats those baby blues and you’d buy out the toy store for him. If she asked, you’d dig ditches for a beloved former boss, and all your mom has to do is crook her finger for you to be at her service.
Is serving what you do best? Could you do it for a living?
Read Concierge Confidential and you’ll think twice before answering.
When Charlie Sheen called and asked if the boss was in, Michael Fazio was barely fazed. Fazio figured it would be a small step from agency assistant to “the next big Hollywood movie mogul,” and a good mogul isn’t impressed with fame. But Fazio’s job at The Liberty Agency didn’t so much include hob-nobbing with the stars as it did taking care of his boss, Glennis. He soon learned that keeping her happy meant plugging in her curlers and making coffee before she got to work. Caring for her was, oddly, something Fazio enjoyed.
After another brief assistant’s job and a gig playing piano on a cruise ship, Fazio and his partner, Jeffrey, moved to Manhattan. Though Fazio was initially unemployed, he quickly found a job at the InterContinental Hotel on 48th Street, where he learned that his unique strengths would best be put to use as a concierge.
A good concierge, like a good business person, has lots of contacts to call upon for favors. He excels at making the impossible possible. Though celebrities and millionaires are the concierge’s typical clients, anyone staying at a hotel with a concierge can use the service.
Fazio writes about finding tickets to sold-out concerts, reservations to jam-packed restaurants and night clubs, and yes, even the unconventional, like yachts for his clients. He writes about good tippers, bad eateries, ugly situations and how he survived them all.
Going on vacation this summer? Check this book out before you leave.
Concierge Confidential includes the dishiest stories of wealth and celebrity, as well as a wealth of tips on star treatment and getting the best results from your hotel stay. But Fazio doesn’t stop there. He explains what a concierge does, where you’ll find one and how to get what you need (hint: being a jerk won’t impress anybody). In between lessons, you’ll be regaled by tales of Hollywood and Broadway, challenges and chefs, businessmen and bubbleheads, hissy-fitting stars and hustling scammers, and the rich and famous. And then, if your hotel doesn’t have a devoted concierge, you’ll learn how to schmooze tickets, reservations and admission on your own.
It’s hard not to love something that so effortlessly entertains, and Concierge Confidential does just that. If you’re heading for holiday, or if you’re just up for a light, fun, privy look at leisure and luxury, you should do anything to get this book.
— Terri Schlichenmeyer
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 1, 2011.